Having only shipped 160,000 units worldwide between April and July of this year – according to the company’s internal fiscal data – Nintendo is well aware of the Wii U’s ailing status on the console market. In a bid to resuscitate dales figures, though, it’s been confirmed by MCV that the company plans to partner with UK retailer Tesco to educate the average consumer that Nintendo’s flagship home console is more than just a supplementary peripheral.
Shelly Pearce, marketing director for the UK region, spoke candidly about the under-performing hardware:
“There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is. And one of the big messages is that this is a new console and a new controller. There are many people out there that don’t know what this is,” Pearce said. “We haven’t had the sales we wanted on Wii U hardware. We haven’t had the software for most of this year. But we have some quite ambitious numbers, particularly with some of our biggest franchises coming.”
Those franchises in particular will no doubt allay some of Nintendo’s deep-seated fears about the console; with Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze all slated for later this year or early 2014. In terms of the present, though, the company intend to mine some of the existing success from the console’s predecessor: the trailblazing Wii.
“There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is. And one of the big messages is that this is a new console and a new controller. There are many people out there that don’t know what this is. Our monthly tracking shows that Wii remains the number one console for brand awareness. This offers us a massive opportunity to convert Wii owners to Wii U.”
By doing so, Nintendo will use Tesco as a platform to distribute a condensed leaflet to customers who already purchased a Wii through the retailer – a number said to be around 300,000. The booklet itself will serve to advertise the Wii U and effectively differentiate the ailing console from its predecessor. What’s more, Nintendo also stated that it will include vouchers for Wii U purchases and games in the leaflet to encourage software sales, too.
What do you think of Nintendo’s latest plan for the Wii U? Do you think educating the casual consumer, who helped bolster Wii sales back in 2006, will stoke the stagnating sales? Or do you believe it’s too little, too late? Give us your thoughts below.